by Bay City News
The Contra Costa County Library started giving away books this week to the reading public and will continue the library's annual giveaway for the next three weeks, a county librarian said.
The Annual Book Giveaway opened today at the Contra Costa County Library administration building in Pleasant Hill and will run daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. everyday except Sundays until Aug. 31.
The summer tradition began in 1998 and is "something the community comes to look forward to," county librarian Barbara Flynn said.
Books each year are weeded from the library system collection, which includes 26 branches countywide.
Paperbacks, hardbacks, children's books, adult fiction, nonfiction and all other books are culled from the collection and pulled if staff determine it is outdated, worn, dirty, torn or no longer useful, Flynn said.
The selected books are then up for grabs to the general public who can pick up one tome or a handful. Patrons are asked to bring their own boxes and bags to carry out materials, Flynn said.
Flynn said children's books are always in high demand, but books of all kinds can be found within the piles.
The librarian did not know how many books are available each summer other than "it is a great number of books."
The giveaway is popular with residents, especially on Saturdays when parents can stop by and browse reading material with children after the workweek.
"You always have people who don't have the disposable income to buy a lot of books," Flynn said, "This fills a need for them."
The giveaway is scheduled at the start of the school year so that teachers, who were given early access to the free books this week along with Friends of the Library members and county and school officials, can properly supply classrooms.
"It's a wonderful thing to put books in the hands of children -- that's a beautiful thing," Flynn said.
Books can be picked up at the shipping and receiving area of the administration building located at 75 Santa Barbara Road in Pleasant Hill.